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O-Ring Chain?

Violet

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2024
Total Posts
14
Total likes
15
Location
Salt Lake City
Well… it’s been a terrible evening!

I finally got around to doing my 1973 SL350 K2 tires and chain. I also got some sprockets and bearings but couldn’t get all of the sprocket nuts off (one just kept spinning and not loosening) so I gave up on those for now. The sprocket didn’t seem too bad anyway.

Trouble is, after me and my boyfriend wrestled the wheel off and on, and then put on the drive chain and had a bad time of it all…. I realize the chain I got sent was an o-ring chain. I remember reading on here that you can’t use those on the vintage twins due to some clearance issues, is that correct? I’m kicking myself for not noticing beforehand, the listing specified that it wasn’t an o-ring chain so I didn’t even look.

Then as I was defeated and rolling my bike to put it away for the night, all of the air came out of the brand new tube. I assume we nicked it in our struggles to get the tire on.

All that work and I’ll have to do it all again! Anyway if someone could confirm that I do in fact need a different drive chain it would be much appreciated.

-V
 
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There are two options, either a non O-ring chain, or an O-ring / X-ring chain with a smaller width. For example, on the CB450's the 530 chain is used (non-O-ring), but a 520 O-ring chain is just as wide as the 530 without O-ring. Yes, you need sprockets that are suitable for 520 chains, front and rear, and with a flange to adjust for the position. Some suppliers sell complete sets, but hard to find.

I use standard 530 chains, and grind them down (on a lathe) to take a 520 chain. An O-ring chain lasts much longer in the environment where I live (Netherlands).

It is not a solution for you now, because you are re-using your rear sprocket, but maybe for the future.
 
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Thank you everybody.

Yes the K2 takes a 520, but I do think that’s a neat idea to grind down the chain to make it work.

Time to order a new chain and get back to work! At least the 100 link seemed to be a good size without adjusting the length.
 
Thank you everybody.

Yes the K2 takes a 520, but I do think that’s a neat idea to grind down the chain to make it work.
To be clear, his comment was about grinding down the sprockets' width (he's in The Netherlands) to fit a 520 chain so he could run an o-ring chain on a bike that originally uses a 530 chain, as a 530 o-ring chain is too wide for the clutch release mechanism clearance.
Time to order a new chain and get back to work! At least the 100 link seemed to be a good size without adjusting the length.
The parts fiches show your bike takes a 100 link chain so you'll be good.
 
To be clear, his comment was about grinding down the sprockets' width (he's in The Netherlands) to fit a 520 chain so he could run an o-ring chain on a bike that originally uses a 530 chain, as a 530 o-ring chain is too wide for the clutch release mechanism clearance.

Thanks AD, yes that's what is what I meant.
 
The options below the 520 are not so good, the 428 is too wide, and the 420 ? I have not seen quality chains with O-rings that size. So,, for your bike only one option, a non O-ring 520. However, there are several suppliers, some have "extra small" O-ring chains, but no experience with them.
 
I took some time to decompress after my errors and then did her up correctly! New tires and tubes, NON o-ring 520 100 link chain, and I even swapped out to a new 40 tooth rear sprocket and changed the wheel bearings. Wow does she roll easy now!

I think I need to mess with the spokes a bit as some are pretty loose but now I am going to focus on getting the carbs properly tuned.

IMG_7490.jpeg
 
. . . Then as I was defeated and rolling my bike to put it away for the night, all of the air came out of the brand new tube. I assume we nicked it in our struggles to get the tire on.

All that work and I’ll have to do it all again! . . .
After reading about your difficulty with the tire change, I almost hesitate to bring this up. However, you made a mistake on your rear wheel when you mounted the new tire. You have a rim lock where the tube's valve stem should be, and the valve stem is where the rim lock should be. Did you try to balance the wheel after you put on the new tire? I don't see any wheel weights in the picture you posted. You would have an awful time if you did try to balance the wheel with the rim locks positioned as they are. They are very heavy and need to be almost across from each other to sort of cancel each other out weight-wise. You have them as "neighbors" which will throw all their combined weight toward one side of the wheel. Someone will likely disagree with me about this, so I will offer this snippet from the Honda FSM for SL350s. In the book, Honda called the rim locks "Bead Spacers."

 
After reading about your difficulty with the tire change, I almost hesitate to bring this up. However, you made a mistake on your rear wheel when you mounted the new tire. You have a rim lock where the tube's valve stem should be, and the valve stem is where the rim lock should be. Did you try to balance the wheel after you put on the new tire? I don't see any wheel weights in the picture you posted. You would have an awful time if you did try to balance the wheel with the rim locks positioned as they are. They are very heavy and need to be almost across from each other to sort of cancel each other out weight-wise. You have them as "neighbors" which will throw all their combined weight toward one side of the wheel. Someone will likely disagree with me about this, so I will offer this snippet from the Honda FSM for SL350s. In the book, Honda called the rim locks "Bead Spacers."

Thank you for pointing this out! Seems I am doomed to make mistakes but that’s how we learn. I think I’ve got a handle on it better and the new tires are much easier to remove than the old ones, so I’ll add that to the list of things to do!
 
^^^ I noticed because I was fresh from mounting tires with rim locks on my own SL350. My K0 bike has two rim locks in the rear wheel, and one in the front. With the two in the back and positioned across from each other, they nearly cancelled each other out for weight. The single in front was a bit like throwing a brick in a lake, it went straight to the bottom of the balancer and stayed there. I see that you have no rim lock on your front wheel. That is how my old Triumph TR6R is built as well, two on the back and none on the front. It took a lot of weight to balance my SL350 front wheel.

If you are not planning on a lot of street riding, you could maybe just leave your rim locks as they are. Try it and see if wheel vibration is an issue for you. It is sort of a beast of a job to change them around. They will prevent your tire from spinning on the rim and tearing the valve stem out of the tube, which would cause instant deflation. The rim locks are important when running low pressure for off-road use.

If you are planning on mostly on-road use, you might consider using blank-out plugs to eliminate the rim locks (like in this thread). With higher air pressure for running on the street, the tires won't have as much tendency to slip on the rim and tear out the valve stem. However, if the tire does go flat, rim locks prevent the tire from coming off the rim.

One thing you might consider is running the valve stem nut up against the valve cap, sort of like a jam nut for the cap. Once the tube is inflated, there is no need for the nut to be down against the rim. If the tire creeps on the rim, the valve stem will tilt and act as a tattletale for you to correct it. With the nut down against the rim, if the tire creeps, the valve stem will be ripped out and cause instant deflation. The position of that nut is a fairly popular topic on various mcy forums. :)

Your bike looks great, by the way!
 
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